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VALLEY/VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Bubb's Budget Draws Mixed Reaction

CS Northridge: Athletic program's history of overspending bothers advisory board, but it is clear sports will not be cut again.

January 31, 1998|STEVE HENSON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

NORTHRIDGE — Paul Bubb, Cal State Northridge athletic director, on Friday asked a skeptical university budget advisory board to kick-start his beleaguered program with additional money until fund-raising and improved facilities begin to generate greater revenues a few years from now.

Bubb's proposed budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 is about $400,000 more than the $6.2 million bare-bones amount recommended by the Task Force on Intercollegiate Athletics that completed an exhaustive review of Northridge athletics in December. Most of the additional money would add support staff such as athletic trainers and academic advisors.

"Is our mission to merely exist or is it to strive for excellence?" Bubb said. "We can bring distinction to the university."

The five-year plan Bubb presented includes the four men's sports cut last summer--baseball, volleyball, soccer and swimming.

Comments from administrators indicated sports will not be cut any time soon.

"Clearly, dropping sports is not an option," said Ronald Kopita, vice president of student affairs. "The community made that abundantly clear [last summer]."

The board, comprised of faculty and students, tabled a decision, but made it clear that additional money from the university's general fund will come grudgingly because of the athletic department's failure to stay within its budget the last several years.

The needs of athletics must be balanced against the needs of academic programs, several board members said.

"I don't see how we can neglect student achievement," said Cheryl Spector, a professor in the English department. "What are the priorities of the university as a whole and where does this fit?"

Northridge President Blenda J. Wilson and Vice President for Academic Affairs Louanne Kennedy, however, appeared to support Bubb's proposal.

"Can we bite the bullet and fund an underfunded program and never talk about this again?," Kennedy said. "I'm in favor of that."

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